On May 10,, 2012 31-year-old mother of two, Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for “Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.” For what reason? Firing two warning shots into the roof of her ceiling while her admittedly abusive husband attempted to attack her once again. No one was shot, no one was hurt, yet the judge sentenced Alexander to 20 years in prison.
Facts of the case, her estranged husband admitted, in a sworn deposition, that he did beat her that day and even threatened to have her killed. HE ADMITTED THIS! Let’s not forget, this all happened nine days after Alexander prematurely gave birth to one of her children. Not only did her estranged husband admit to beating her and threatening her, but he also admitted to beating other women he was previously in relationships with. Yet and still, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing warning shoots.
The trial of Alexander and her case drew immediate comparisons to the famed George Zimmerman trial. Not only were they both in Florida, but they both also sought to use the “Stand Your Grand” law as their defense.A defense that, worked for one, but not the other.
Experts argued that if Alexander would have shot at her husband and killed him, instead of firing warning shots, then she more than likely would have been protected under the “Stand Your Ground” law. Which is absurd and a miscarriage of justice if you ask me, on both accounts.
Funny enough, in a thought-provoking way, not a “hahaha” kind of way, the same prosecutor was used for both the Zimmerman trial and the Alexander trial; Angela Corey. Many shamed protesters attempted to get Corey off of the case citing her using this black woman as a way to get reelection. Playing on the racist undertones of her constituents. The Congresswoman, Corrine Brown, for Corey’s district even argued that she had overcharged Alexander due to long-held institutional racism.
Some have even gone as far as to equate her to Jim Crow era bigots.
“[Angela Corey is] a throwback to those Jim Crow era prosecutors and legal authorities – where there were instances of black people needing justice and they could not count on their local government official” – National Organization for Women
Thankfully, Alexander remains free at the moment as she awaits her retrial after an appellate court struck down her sentencing by the district court. Citing incorrect application of the jury process to the jurors. Hopefully this time Alexander will be freed for attempting to protect herself and the man who had abused her for so long. She could have killed him, but she chose not to. She had more regard for his life than he did for hers, and clearly more than the justice system has for the lives of black people across this country.